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Data Needs for Revitalization Planning and Advancement: A Comprehensive Evaluation of Social and Natural Associations (CESNA)

Authors: Kyle Buck*, Environmental Protection Agency, David Ferguson, US EPA
Topics: Urban Geography, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: geostatistical model, gentrification, revitalization, data
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Revitalization of communities and natural areas has garnered increased interest in recent decades as many urban zones decay and natural resources show signs of abuse. Two primary concerns of revitalization planning are prioritization of actions for maximum benefit and accounting for the needs of community members. There is a delicate balancing act between helping the social, built and natural environments without causing harm or displacing current residents. Concerns over external investment and gentrification of historically disinvested areas complicates forward progress. Community leaders require access to information on multiple fronts if they are to effectively advocate for the needs of the current residents and be involved in early planning efforts. The Comprehensive Evaluation of Social and Natural Associations (CESNA) Model will provide community leaders and advocates with information at multiple scales; including data on social, built and natural systems. Proposed here is the framework for the creation of a geostatistical model and menu of options for input and processing of data dependent on community need. This represents an advance in both citizen science and multi-level geospatial modeling that will enable information to be created and maintained according to needs of a community, thus providing them with leverage in revitalization planning. This research is being piloted in the Proctor Creek Watershed, where extensive revitalization work is occurring. The neighborhoods in this area of Northwest Atlanta are primarily minority and historically disinvested, providing the perfect backdrop for this research.

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